एर्गोनॉमिक्स जर्नल

एर्गोनॉमिक्स जर्नल
खुला एक्सेस

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A Multi-Component Ergonomic Intervention Program for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

Wee Tong, NG

Background: Ergonomic risks are abounding in the manufacturing industry where work may be fast-paced, repetitive, and sedentary and performed in awkward postures. Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) have become prevalent and impact productivity and raise costs. Despite the significant burden of WRMSDs, workplace interventions for prevention remain varied and differ in effectiveness. This study aimed to reduce the incidence of WRMSD at a manufacturing facility with significant biomechanical risks through an integrated multi-component ergonomic intervention programme.

Methods: Guided by a detailed risk assessment, an ergonomic intervention programme was conceptualized and implemented in phases for the primary prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal injury incidence rates were used to evaluate programme effectiveness.

Results: Biomechanical risks from prolonged sewing under the microscope were identified. Programme Components related to work process engineering, worker selection, education and training, and prevention and early intervention were then designed and operationalized in a contextual manner. A sustained decline in the incidence of WRMSDs from 2.26% in 2013 to 0.20% in 2020 was observed.

Conclusion: A multi-component programme guided by a comprehensive risk assessment was successful in reducing ergonomic risks. Critical success factors included active worker participation, sustained management commitment and a strong organizational safety culture. The programme was associated with a reduction in the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries and WRMSDs and may guide the design of future workplace ergonomic interventions.